TV Ratings: 'American Idol' Debuts to Winning Numbers

American Idol - 301- Auditions -Publicity Still - H 2020
ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol opened its third ABC season Sunday with slightly lower ratings than its 2019 premiere, but it easily led the night's broadcast ratings. NBC's Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Good Girls posted modest initial numbers, as did Fox's animated series Duncanville — though they're likely to grow significantly with multi-platform viewing.

Idol premiered with 8.05 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, down about 7 percent in viewers and 12 percent in the demo vs. last year (8.65 million and 1.7). Sunday's installment is ahead of last season's same-day averages of 7.56 million viewers and 1.3 in adults 18-49. Idol's demo rating ranks fifth among unscripted premieres this season. 

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Good Girls each averaged a 0.4 among adults 18-49 and about 2 million viewers for NBC. Zoey's is off from 0.6 and 2.66 million for its January debut, while Good Girls premiered to a 0.7 and 2.75 million viewers last season. The latter got better than 40 percent of its 35-day audience from digital viewing; per NBC, the Zoey's pilot has grown to 1.9 in adults 18-49 via, Hulu and delayed viewing, with other digital platforms still to be counted.

At Fox, Duncanville premiered with a 0.5 rating in adults 18-49, coming off a 0.7 for The Simpsons. Bob's Burgers and Family Guy followed with 0.6s. (All three veteran shows more than double their audiences with digital viewing.) 

NCIS: New Orleans made its Sunday debut with 5.2 million viewers and a 0.5 in adults 18-49, below its Tuesday averages from earlier this season (6.73 million, 0.7) but not far off lead-in NCIS: Los Angeles (6.03 million, 0.6). God Friended Me tied its same-day season lows of 5.38 million viewers and 0.4 in the demo, coming out of the 8.08 million viewers and 0.6 for 60 Minutes. The CW's Batwoman and Supergirl were steady in adults 18-49 at 0.2.

American Idol carried ABC to the top spot in adults 18-49 in primetime with a 1.1 rating, half a point better than Fox's 0.6. CBS (0.5) and NBC (0.4) followed, and The CW trailed with a 0.2.

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AI - 1.7, 8.65

season 1.3, 7.56

GG - 0.7, 2.75

season - 0.55, 2.34

43% of L35 from digital last season